Employee Profile: Samira, Regulatory Compliance Manager
Title: Regulatory Compliance Manager
Hire Date: June 2012
How would you describe what you do to someone who knows nothing about Clif Bar or your role?
You know all the label information you see on food packages? I use my knowledge about food laws and regulations to ensure that information is accurately communicated by Clif Bar — from our product names and nutrition information to the ingredient photos we feature and stories we tell about our food. I also closely follow any updates in food regulations by agencies like the FDA or USDA National Organic Program. There is a lot going on in the food industry and so much reading and researching that goes into making a simple label.
What do you love most about working at Clif Bar?
I can go to sleep at night knowing that I work for an awesome company that supports organic agriculture, sustainability, people, and communities.
What are your interests and passions outside of work?
I love baking sweets! The process of baking and working with ingredients is like meditation for me. I get in the zone and tune everything out. I'm slowly starting to open up that space to my kids. A little bit of chaos is okay. I am also interested in minimalism. I find tiny homes and ideas for small spaces fascinating and try to incorporate those concepts into my life. I have always made a conscious effort to not accumulate stuff, but when I had kids, it really hit home that time is finite and material things can eat away at it by pursuing or maintaining them. I like to streamline my life so I can focus on what's really important. This minimalism has led to interest in personal finance and budgeting. Spreadsheets and planning! Some people think it's boring (like food regulations), but I find it fascinating!
What is one of your most memorable food experiences?
A huge part of the Afghan culture is cooking and sharing food. Our recipes are often complex and time consuming, so families spend a lot of time in the kitchen. When I was living in Chicago, my husband and I invited a bunch of our friends over to experience home cooked Afghan food. I was really nervous that I wouldn't be able to prepare dishes as delicious as my mom's. Through some coaching over the phone with my mom, everything turned out great! It was so much fun gathering with friends and sharing the foods I grew up eating.
What has been or will be your greatest adventure?
I was born in Afghanistan. My family narrowly missed the Soviet invasion by taking refuge in Iran. However, the Iranian Revolution quickly took hold. We were very fortunate to be able to move to the U.S. Like many immigrant families, money was pretty tight, so my family did not travel much for vacation. I had to work every holiday and summer break since high school. I am really looking forward to finally having a real summer break when I take my sabbatical in a few years. Clif Bar is so generous to give all their employees the opportunity to take a couple months off to do what they want.